PHOTO DUMP: MONDAY HIKE

Three-four weeks ago I made plans with my sister, S, to visit her, hang out and take Leesi on a little hike. That didn’t happen since I was lucky enough to catch the flu. We did several rain checks we had to cancel, but I ended up saying “you know what, I’ll let you know when I get better”, since it just got worse and worse. I didn’t want to visit her and possibly infect her, with her being pregnant and all.

The flu hit me hard and I was sofa bound for two and a half weeks binging whatever I could find on Netflix with zero energy, while constantly coughing and blowing my nose and sounding like a man. The last part weirdly, or not so weird, gave me a lot of gender euphoria, so I didn’t exactly mind that tho. It was hard saying goodbye to my masculine voice.

On Monday me and my sister, and Leesi, finally got together so I thought I’d share some photos from our hike:

S took us to one of her favorite places and I must say, besides the ants I really enjoyed myself there too and Leesi seemed to as well. It truly was beautiful: greenery everywhere, light flickering through the leaves of the trees above us, magical woodland paths. A few weeks ago the place was filled to the brim with blankets of wood anemones, but now leaves upon leaves of lilies of the valley had taken over, soon ready to bloom.

Afterwards we indulged in some frapinos from Espresso House, well deserved in my opinion. I will definitely want to come back, but maybe in April or early May to see the wood anemones and to avoid some of the insects, (they’re not my best friends to say the least).

Happy and satisfied after our hike

Other than that, I’ve thrown out yet another four bags of trash and I’m not at the bottom yet. I hit a small bump again after that a few days ago, but today has been better so I hope I’m back at it tomorrow. I bought new carpets for my living room and dining space that came two weeks ago that I haven’t been able to unpack them yet because I want it to be nice here first so I really can enjoy them. A (kind of) fresh start in a clean space.

– E.J

THE ALL FAMILIAR “LONG TIME, NO SEE”

The last time I posted something here was when Koda had just turned 7, now he’s soon turning 8, so it’s clearly been a while. Quite a few things have happened since then, so I thought I’d do an update.

Shortly after I stopped posting, my two beautiful, little tortoise babies came home to me. I named them Littlefoot and Petrie, after their respective namesakes from The Land Before Time. They were tiny, as you can see, only 9 and 10 grams.

It was really good getting them home and they were thriving for a while, eating well, walking around, climbing stuff. Then they got slower and they slept more. I think it was because they stood next to the outer wall of the house, and they got some draft from outside which made them sleep. It was a good thing really for the next thing that was going to happen…

I told you that I got a home loan in June last year, right? Well, in September I found the apartment I’m now sitting in, placed a few bids and it ended up as mine! (Obviously or else I wouldn’t be sitting here). Back to Littlefoot and Petrie, it fit perfectly that they hibernated for a while before and while moving, and once they were set up in their new place, away from outer walls, they woke up again and was as happy and healthy as before.

I couldn’t believe it when I got the call that the apartment was mine. I was now a home owner. Owner. No more rent. This is my place. It was very bittersweet though, very hard in fact. I went into a downward spiral of guilt and shame and was more depressed after moving in. I’m still not out of it. I struggle a lot with thinking I deserve it, that this – something this good – is meant for me.

Photos from right after I moved in.

As a result it’s turned into quite the depression nest. Because I don’t deserve the apartment, and even less deserve to have it nice-looking and clean around me while being a fraud, also due to zero energy, it has turned into a shit-hole. (Just a few days ago I cleaned out 4 bags of trash, and that’s just the start, but I guess it is a start at least). I stopped taking my meds properly just to further revel in my own misery.

Come two months ago to this day, our dear grandpa passed away with Covid and pneumonia in the hospital at age 87. He was in isolation for almost a week, it must have been horrible for him who values and thrives off of, and literally lives for, being surrounded by family and loved ones. I got to see him in the hospital two days before he passed. I still can’t believe he’s gone. When I tell myself that I just break down like the first time, I haven’t been able to grieve, I’ve just pushed it all away, I can’t handle it.

So, to sum it up, life pretty much sucks right now. The last couple of weeks I’ve had a few small “ups”, some glimmer of light in between. They usually last a day, two days tops, and I’m back at the bottom again, but it gives me some hope at least as to what’s (hopefully) to come. It’s like I’m practising my ability to feel good, like you practise running. One day you can run for 100 meters, next day 200 meters, and someday you do 1km, or even 10km.

I started taking my meds properly again a month ago, but it doesn’t seem to quite do it for me yet. Or, well, I don’t have my massive swings, now its just a stable low, so I guess it’s something. I’m trying to boost myself up to clean this place up, like with those 4 bags of trash, it’s a struggle, but like I said, it’s a start.

– E.J

BIRTHDAY BOY / 070621

Yesterday was my beautiful prince’s birthday! Koda turned a whopping 7 years old, I can’t believe it! The little boy who was an outcast in his litter has turned into The Good-est Boy. So calm and sweet.

He had a tough first years going through something called Tollers Disease. Tollers Disease is an auto-immune illness that affects the joints, muscles and more. A kind of rheumatic arthitis. It can also be meningitis.

It’s been really scary, because I’ve read that most people with dogs with Tollers Disease have had to say goodbye to their fur babies way too soon, between 5-8 years old. Koda on the other hand has been doing really well the past two-ish years. He’s been going to a physiotherapist the last four-five years. The first years of therapy where hard, but now he’s doing so good he’s gotten off his meds!

My dearest prince, I love you with all of my heart. You’ve been with me through my toughest years, always by my side, and I instantly feel better when I see your precious face. You’re such a well adjusted and happy dog.

You let Leesi mess with you and boss you around and you also play very nicely together even though you’re 17kgs heavier. You’re just so considerate of her, and she couldn’t have asked for a better big brother, and I couldn’t have asked for a better dog than (the two of) you <3.

– E.J

CAT SITTING, LIFE, MOVING?

Happy Saturday, guys! I hope you’re having a good day. This weekend I’m cat sitting at my parents house while they’re at the cabin, which means lots of cuddles with Leesi and lots of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

Kalypso is mostly outside this time of year, so it’s not exactly the hardest job, haha. She only comes in to check on everything, give Leesi a little nuzzle and have some food and then she’s straight back out the door and doesn’t show her adorable little face again for a few hours. I’m so anxious to get her inside at night, I can not relax until she’s back meowing at the door.

Life hasn’t treated me the best. I’ve been kind of outside my body and mind. I get really insecure in my personality and don’t really know what’s what and get out of touch with my interests. It comes at me hard and I don’t know how to handle myself when I’m in the periods when it’s more prominent, I disappear into myself.

I had some good weeks with hikes and photography and family and it was so good, and then I fell into this hole again. BUT I’m trying to find back to myself again, whoever or whatever that is.

A fun thing that has happened in this otherwise low period is that I got a loan, so I’m looking at apartments – for real. I could buy an apartment! It’s so exciting in this otherwise low period, trying to keep my spirits up.

– E.J

ISLAND HIKE

Hello bloggy, my old friend. I’ve come to talk with you again.

It’s been a while now, hasn’t it? March 10th was my last post. As you’re probably well aware of by now, I really struggle with heavy periods of emptiness and hopelessness, and that is also the case nowadays. Days go by with me hardly even noticing. All of a sudden, as it seems, another one-two-three weeks have passed.

I’ve been doing better this time. Even though my body seems to gravitate to the ground by what seems like 200kg on my back, I get up and I go out and I soak in the magic that Spring has to offer: hopeful wood anemones and other flora sprouting up here and there, sunlight breaking through the branches of the trees creating a fairytale-like light in the forest, calm breezes stroking my face, the crunch of dry gravel under my sneakers as I walk… I could go on.

I have truly been enjoying the forest this Spring. It’s still that time of year before all the creepy crawling creatures come out. (Ants are my biggest fear). I have been getting out on my own, but my aunt has really done a good job getting me outside as well and has taken me to a few places I haven’t been before. And yesterday I was on a hike with my sister on this really beautiful island. (I took a bunch of photos, but I couldn’t put all of them in one post, haha).

Other than that my days have been spent trying to finish The Angel’s Game by Carlos Ruiz Zafón. I have struggled with that one, I couldn’t get into the story, I hope The Prisoner of Heaven is better, because I really liked The Shadow of the Wind and Carlos’ storytelling. It’s tough to read when you’re not in the right head space, but now I’m finally done and still on schedule with my reading goal.

My mom and I have also been a lot of watching Masterchef Australia. We had been saving up weeks at a time of the Back to Win season, as we’ve done with previous seasons as well, to watch a bunch of episodes at a time. The best way to watch a series is to binge many episodes at a time, in my opinion. I cried an embarrassing amount of times during this season, more than I dare count, it’s just so wholesome.

Now we have found a streaming service with every season, I have just watched from season 6 I think, so we’ve started on the first and it’s so weird and so good(!) to see how much the show and the judges (Matt, Gary and George), have grown over the years. Season 1 is so bad and commercial, haha! Still fun, though!

Back to the hikes/walks. I’ve used my camera a lot lately, and I am so grateful for the sparks the hikes have created when it comes to photography. Nature is the best inspiration! Maybe it will help me out of this rut again.

– E.J

WISHES FOR 2021

In 2021 I wish…

… to read 12 books. In 2020 I only read 8, which is partly because I suddenly decided to knit some Christmas presents and they took a lot of time and energy to get done because I haven’t knitted for such a long time. This year I have definite plans not to knit anything, so I will have plenty of time to read, haha.

… to get control of my self harming. It’s been a lot lately and at the moment it feels quite hopeless. I’m drowning in shame and guilt and I just want it to stop. I know I can do better. It’s hard when you don’t actually care what happens and couldn’t actually be bothered to stop, because you know “it’s fine as it is”, but I’m determined to take action and don’t let it control my life.

… for the first time to write out and finish my first ever notebook. I’ve been journaling my entire life, I remember I must have gotten my first notebook when was about 4 or 5. It was this tiny book with an orange plastic cover. I called it something that translates to “little writing book of mine”. (I find that pretty cute, to be honest). I didn’t finish it and I haven’t finished a single book since either.

I think one of the issues is that I love collecting notebooks and when I find a new one I just have to start writing in it. Another is also my constant need for for fresh starts, a way of deleting the person I was, press the reset button. But this is the year!

… to save up for a tortoises! Since last Spring I’ve really wanted tortoises, I find them fascinating and think they’re awesome creatures. I’ve talked to a breeder, and now I just need the money to pay for it. I have never been good at saving money, never thinking I would need it as “I wasn’t going to stay around for too long”. Bad impulse control has had a say in it as well. I’m hoping these tortoises will help me look forward and stay on track. After all, if I don’t save I don’t get those tiny dinosaurs.

Yes, I realize it says 2020, I made an error. I fixed it.

… to lose XX kgs. This is not a healthy one, but it’s on my list so I’m sharing it. I haven’t talked about it here before, but my eating habits and body image aren’t exactly healthy and I was diagnosed with an eating disorder around the time when I was first inpatient. It has stuck around in different forms. I have to do this, if I don’t I will most definitely not manage to get control over my SH.

… to eat more fruit. Over to a more healthy one! I have been very bad at eating fruit the past years, it just never had a place in my mind. I know fruits are very beneficial for both our physical and mental health, so this year I’m going to focus to have fruits as a big part of my diet.

… to photograph more, and bring my camera with me everywhere I go. I’ve been in a rut with my photography since Autumn, and it’s been painful, at one point I felt so much like a failure and loser in photography that I put my camera up for sale. But I’ve had a serious talk with myself, telling myself I am good enough and that I need this, so I took the ad down again. And so far this year I’m doing good! I feel content with what I do.

Do you have any wishes or wants for this year?

– E.J

A LITTLE OUT OF IT

I’ve had a good couple of days, but it has taken it’s toll. On Monday I invited my mom over for coffee in the late morning. I drank tea, the same old Original Chai from Pukka. It was very cozy and Leesi had such a good time parading around the living room, strode around so proudly showing off her home, even though mom has been here before. It was such a precious sight.

I had a rather difficult night though, and it ended up in self-destructive behaviour. I felt like the nice start to the day was way beyond what I deserve, and I had to make up for it somehow. That’s how it goes, I guess. I do feel grateful for the time my mom and I spent together, but I don’t feel worthy. And that it is where it goes wrong. When will it okay for me to feel good about good times?

Tuesday was good, Leesi and I had a nice morning watching Six Feet Under before we went to grandma’s (Leesi’s grandma that is, my mom) to see the new furniture they had gotten for their living room. Mom was not happy with the color of her couch, and I must say so myself it was a lot duller than the one I had seen a testers patch of. But I gave her some therapy and I think she’s slightly okay with it now.

My sister came to visit today and it was good to see her again. She’s starting a new job soon and it’s all really exiting. We had a good talk, my mom, her and I.

Now I feel like I’m spiralling again, I don’t know what to do. I don’t know where I should begin to even take this problem into control. Somewhere – I guess that’s where I should begin. And that Somewhere is Here. I have to start here. From this moment.

x E.J

THESE PAST FEW DAYS

I’ve spent the weekend in pure joy. I’ve been granted permanent disability aid! That may seem might a let down to most folks, but for me it is a joy. I’ve been fighting this system for so long, and now I’m finally able to breathe. I have a steady income and I have the time to grow.

I have the time to grow, on my own terms. I don’t have 3 years, or 14 months, or 5 months. I can finally be free. Free to build the live I want to live, with my conditions. I have the time to learn, to experience, to grow.

It has been hard living in this process, of knowing/not knowing. I know I’ve must’ve lost some hair over it. But it is here. And I am safe. It is weird and it is good. I am safe. It doesn’t exactly slow down the process that Autumn is here with me. I feel good, I feel enlightened, I feel inspired. I hope that will come to show on my instagram and of course – here.

I ‘ve started writing again and I hope this will be a good thing for me. My sentences, my words, my meanings. I have so much to say, but I’ve never really known the words to say them. I feel like this is a turning point, and I am here. I am here to let you know how I feel, to know what I experience, to know what life is life how I live it with the diagnosis that I have. I am ready.

x E.J

FIVE THINGS I AM GRATEFUL FOR RIGHT NOW

Hello, earthlings

I’m sitting here in the lazy chair in my parents house, I’m cat sitting this weekend. It’s a grey morning outside, wind is blowing through the apple trees and shaking some apples to the wet grass from the rain earlier. The heating pump is on and Leesi is sleeping at my feet, curled up in a blanket. As I am sitting here, my thoughts wander to the things I’m grateful for in my life, and I thought I’d share five of them with you today.

❥ My animals. The way they show me unconditional love every day and I do the same with them. Even on my worst days, they bring out the best in me. They fill up my entire heart and I don’t even know how to put into words what they mean to me. Love, love, love.

❥ My parents living close by. I have felt some embarrassment from getting an apartment so close to my parents house, (even though it was the best apartment out for rent when I was looking), but I am happy that’s where I landed. I am independent, but their support is just a few streets away.

❥ Writing again and picking up my camera. I am slowly getting back into expressing myself on paper and capturing little moments, and that I am very much grateful for. Lowering my expectations and trying to just enjoy it.

❥ The best season of the year is just three days away. In a short time the leaves will turn orange and red and yellow. The sun will become golden and create that crisp, but sweet scent in the air. Rain will pour down and there will be full days spent under blankets with reading, tv-series, tea, hot cocoa and cuddles, in the soft light of lit candles. Layers of knitted and fluffy sweaters and cardigans and dressy trousers and Dr. Martens and checkered and dark coloured floral dresses and pantyhose!

❥ The Internet. I’ve met some good people online over the past years, and even though there’s a part of me that don’t dare to call them my friends, (how can anyone want to be my friend?), there’s another part who cherish them so much and they show me love, and I suppose that’s what friendship is. I guess I just have to come to terms with the fact that I am wanted and I am someone people care about.

x E.J

DAY NINE

Good late morning, dear earthlings

The temperature is harsh this morning, it’s not hard to tell that Autumn is right around the corner. I’ve put on woolen socks that my mom has knitted for me, the heater is on, and I’ve made myself a cup of apple and cinnamon tea. It’s a slow morning, and I’m visiting my mother today. I have no real plans other than that at the moment. Or probably several more cups of tea. And a walk with Khaleesi.

I’m on day nine of no self destructive behaviour, and I think I might be feeling good actually. It’s going way smoother than I had expected? I thought I was going to fight hard for this, but the urges are bordering on insignificant and are in a way easy to overcome. I have had some help from my anxiety medication, but I wasn’t using too much of them before, so this increase is okay in my eyes. I hope this next week will be equally as good as the last one in these terms. Fingers crossed.

Happy new week, hope you have a good one

x E.J